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Fulton Bank
Fulton Bank

5 ways to help your small business stand out when hiring

Small and large businesses across the country are having trouble finding and retaining employees due to the “Great Resignation.” But as a small business owner, you have opportunities to nimbly respond in ways that big box stores can't and highlight things that they don’t have. Use these five ways to make your business stand out.

1. Define and highlight your company's culture.

Many people want to be part of a company that aligns with their values starting with the company culture. A culture is how employees see and experience your business, consider how you’d describe it potential employees. 

Your company's vision and mission helps guide the organization. If you haven't done so already, think about:

  • What's your company's purpose?
  • Where do you want the company to be in the future?
  • What do you and your company stand for and against?

You can highlight these during interviews and in job ads. However, potential candidates may review your company's website and social media accounts. Make sure you highlight your culture there as well.

2. Offer less-common benefits.

While you may need to offer a competitive hourly wage or salary to attract top talent, pay isn't everyone's priority. In some cases, the benefits could be what makes someone accept an offer and stay with your company.

In addition to what are generally thought of as benefits (health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, etc.), consider less-common options that might help your business stand out:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • A pet-friendly environment
  • On-site childcare
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Paid volunteer time off

You could also create and offer something unique. For example, if you know other business owners in your area, propose grouping together to offer employees benefits or discounts at your respective businesses.

3. Don't tip-toe around pay.

While pay isn't always the top priority, people need to support themselves and their families. Sharing the pay range in your job posting can help eliminate poor-fit applicants and show job seekers you're devoted to an equitable hiring process. It may also be a requirement in some cities and states.

4. Recruit from your fan base.

Finding good candidates can be difficult and expensive, and sifting through online responses can take a lot of time. Ideally, you can attract candidates who have a connection with your business or industry. Try to start by focusing on:

  • Social media. Post about the openings on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
  • Employee referrals. You could create a rewards program for employees who refer friends or former colleagues.
  • Current vendors and contractors. These businesses and individuals already have a sense of what it's like to work with you and may be able to recommend good candidates.
  • Industry-specific job boards. While less personal, you'll at least know the applicants likely have relevant experience.

Also, consider how to create a pipeline for future hires. For example, you could network with local professors who teach a related skill or a nonprofit that offers job training. The result could be a steady stream of potential candidates that you can tap into as your company grows.

5. Set candidates and employees up for success.

People want to work for a company that believes in them and wants them to succeed. The tone you set during an initial email, meeting or interview can leave a big impression.

For example, if you're scheduling an initial interview, consider including links to sites that will help the candidate learn more about the interviewers, the business, and the industry and give them a clear overview of the hiring process.

The result is a win-win. Candidates feel like you have their back from day one, and you get to hopefully have more pleasant interviews with people who are knowledgeable and prepared.

Keep Your Employees Happy

It's often easier to keep a good employee than find a new one. In addition to hiring, think the opportunities for your current employees. Don't forget about yourself, either. Making space for work-life balance and improving your management skills can help create an enjoyable workplace for the entire team.

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